John and Mary McCullom had been married for 11 years and had three children ranging from 4 to 8 years old. But last year, when the couple decided to take a DNA to find out more about their family history, something unbelievable happened.
What started out as an ordinary quest for knowledge soon turned into something totally unexpected. Little did they know they were embarking on a journey of familial discovery that would turn their lives upside-down and shake the very foundations of their relationship.
The McCollums had always been a tightknit family; both John and Mary had grown up in the same small town and had attended the same high school. But after taking their respective AncestryDNA s, the results shocked everyone in their household. It revealed that John and Mary were related -- they were actually fourth cousins.
At first, they thought it was a joke—that someone had just pulled a prank on them by submitting false information. But that was soon dispelled after skimming through Ancestry's database. To the couple's surprise, it turn out that both of their great-grandfathers were brothers.
John and Mary's minds raced with thoughts about what such a revelation meant for their long-term relationship. Had their marriage been illegal all these years because of a closely-related family connection?
The confusion and uncertainty soon began to take a toll on the couple, with each wondering if there was any way at all this discovery could be reconciled or resolved.
Armed with the newfound knowledge of a closely-related tie John and Mary slowly began to look back on their past together - casting an entirely new light on the events of their shared lives. Gradually, as they weighed their options further, it was determined that this newfound connection did not nullify the validity of their past decade of marriage.
The couple's families rooted them on as they confronted this seemingly insurmountable obstacle, eventually propelling the two to refocus their lens on the bright side of their discovery - the sudden blast of insight into their lineage and heritage that would help form the future identity of their growing brood of descendants.
Eventually both John and Mary came to accept this notion as a footnote in their story--a weird twist that should be embraced as an opportunity for growth. To celebrate this strange turn of events, the couple has documented their experience in an upcoming book called "An Unlikely Family: How We Discovered We Were Related After 11 Years of Marriage".
Today, John and Mary have come to realize the true power of unity based in love; regardless of whether you share blood, biology or background - true family always comes down to commitment and loyalty.